Categories Billions Print Media Review

Fifty Billion Shades of Gray – Aug 24, 2018

Billions: Integrating Mental Health, Finance, Silicon Valley Industries and Law and Order, with a Little Yonkers-Secret-Recipe-Pizza

by Anna Kornbluh | Los Angeles Review of Books | August 24, 2018

Ten years ago, the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered the global financial crisis of 2008. Democrats were eight years in power, and their failure to prosecute the corporate criminals behind the crisis surely ranks as their biggest legacy. That failure was the condition of possibility for the anti-elite narrative that inspired the white working class and the white upper class to support a genuinely fascist insurgency before and beyond November 2016. It was also the condition of possibility for Billions.

Across its three seasons on Showtime, Billions explores the aftermath of Lehman’s and Obama’s 2008 peaks, tracking the waning and waxing faculty of elite professionals to steer their careers and helm the most powerful country in the world. The show is built around an extended parallel between outer-borough upstart Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), principal of the wildly fruitful hedge fund Axe Capital, and Manhattan WASP Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti), US Attorney for the New York Southern District and hero of a counterfactual recent past in which 81 bankers and traders were successfully prosecuted for their outlaw engineering of toxic asset slides. Rhoades fancies himself a just warrior, fighting against “[these] Teflon corporations that defraud the American people on a grand scale.” As the series opens he levels his gaze at Axe, the Moby-Dick of parkour finance.

Continue reading Fifty Billion Shades of Gray – Aug 24, 2018

Categories Billions Print Media

Thursday’s Best TV: Billions (UK) – May 10, 2018

Pick of the Day: Billions, Sky Atlantic, 9pm  

by David Sexton | Evening Standard | May 10, 2018

Source: Showtime

An extraordinary episode of the glossy financial drama, which was recently renewed for a fourth season.

Showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien contribute a storyline that swirls around the two main protagonists, Axe (Damian Lewis) and Chuck (Paul Giamatti), making it clear that whatever moral distinction there used to be between the rogue trader and the attorney general, they are both now morally compromised.

Last week’s show ended with Axe and Chuck in conference with Wendy (Maggie Siff) trying to work out a plan to avoid them all being sent to jail. This week, much to the men’s surprise, Wendy proposes a dubious idea which involves the framing of the almost blameless oncologist Dr Ari Gilbert (Seth Barrish), and persuading her colleague Mafee (Dan Soder) to lie (a talk which requires her to wield her sexuality). In the end, Axe takes a relaxing bath, but the dynamics have changed, with Wendy’s flexible morality promoting her to the role of a key player.

Billions began in the Obama years as a fight between right and wrong. As the drama evolves to mirror the Trump era, those distinctions have become very blurry.

Read the rest of the original article at Evening Standard

Categories Interviews Magazine Personal and Family Life Print Media

Kit Magazine Interview – April 10, 2018

New York, Soccer, Trump

by Noah Davis | Kit Magazine | April 10, 2018

Illustration by Marco and Mauro La Villa

DAMIAN LEWIS WAS a few minutes late, fresh off an afternoon of getting fitted for a prosthetic so he could play Rob Ford, the late mayor of Toronto, in an upcoming film. The process involved getting his face and head completely covered in silicon strips, breathing through a small hole near the nose. It sounded awful, frankly, and, as he explained, a similar experience apparently once sent a big-screen martial-art tough guy into a blind panic.

Lewis, 47, was in New York to finish up the third season of Showtime hit, Billions. Shooting ran long due to the weather. What was supposed to be a six-month trip became seven going on eight, accruing “half a million” air miles flying back to London to see his wife and two kids during down time. The next morning, he had to be up at five o’clock to shoot a scene or two at Citi Field, and production would wrap for good in three days. He was ready to return home.

But first: dinner. We settle in at Kings Co Imperial, in Williamsburg, and get started with some fried mock eel, whatever that is. Lewis was ready to eat: “That’s the point of coming to Chinese restaurants, right? To get a bit of fried food.”

Continue reading Kit Magazine Interview – April 10, 2018

Categories Billions Print Media

Billions: Lamb Skin Sharks on Wall Street – April 9, 2018

“The third season of the series delves into the greed and corruption of its protagonists”

by Turkey Telegraph | April 9, 2018

Source: Showtime

While the President of United States applauds the success of shows like Roseanne, another very different series, Billions, is called “trumpist,” as it is said by its protagonists. And not because they agree with American president, but it is what’s reflected in the series: corporate greed with sheepskin sharks and rampant corruption among politicians.  Damian Lewis states, “In United States I am greeted by cheers for Bobby Axelrod while in England they call me a scoundrel for the same character. I guess it depends on which crystal you look at.”

“We always had a whiff of Trump from the beginning, but this season is clearer, with new characters within Government that reflect the reality we live,” adds Paul Giamatti, who plays the Federal Prosecutor of financial crimes . “Anyone in the series could be a new member of Trump’s cabinet,” adds Lewis humorously.  Neither Lewis nor Giamatti predict a happy ending.

Read the rest of the original article at Turkey Telegraph

Categories Billions Broadcast Media Video

Video: Damian Talks to MindFood About Billions Season 3 – March 31, 2018

“The assassins are everywhere. Everywhere.”

by MindFood Magazine | March 25, 2018

We talk to Damian Lewis about the third season of ‘Billions’, Donald Trump and what surprises him.

Source: MindFood Magazine YouTube Channel 

Categories Billions Print Media Review

Billions Season 3 Premiere: The Next Big Thing – March 26, 2018

“Amusement-Park Ride of a Financial Drama”

by Sean T. Collins | The New York Times | March 26, 2018

Season 3, Episode 1: ‘Tie Goes to the Runner’

Source: Spoiler TV

“There’s a new sheriff in town,” drawls Attorney General Waylon Jeffcoat to an assemblage of United States attorneys now under his employ, “and you are my deputies. Gonna be one hell of a turkey shoot!”

Well, yes and no. After watching the Season 3 premiere of “Billions,” Showtime’s amusement-park ride of a financial drama, it is clear that the show’s creators and characters are indeed coming out guns blazing. But the new sheriff, known as Jock, hasn’t changed the series’s old winning ways. A boots-on-the-desk Texan played by the dulcet-toned character actor Clancy Brown, Jock Jeffcoat announces he’s pulling the Justice Department away from Wall Street’s white-collar crimes. Elsewhere, the revelation that the unctuous hedge-fund creep Todd Krakow (Danny Strong), previously the show’s comic-relief antagonist, has been named Treasury Secretary is perhaps the best gag of the episode, in that funny-because-it’s-true sort of way.

Continue reading Billions Season 3 Premiere: The Next Big Thing – March 26, 2018

Categories Billions Print Media Review

Billions Season 3 Finally Shows Real-World Consequences for What Its Bad People Do – March 23, 2018

“Billions Has Never Been Subtle”

by Liam Mathews | TV Guide  | March 23, 2018

Warning: There are light spoilers for Billions Season 3 ahead.

In its first two seasons, Billions — Showtime’s elevated soap opera about a crooked hedge fund billionaire and the U.S. Attorney determined to bring him down — was almost exclusively focused on the interpersonal manipulations of its characters. It avoided examining the larger world in which its titans played and how their petty feuds and reckless actions trickled down to the little people who bear the consequences of financial and political malfeasance.

There were brief flashes of it. Bobby Axelrod’s (Damian Lewis) brutal treatment of an already economically depressed town after his plan to build a casino there fell through is the most notable example, but mostly the show existed in a vacuum. It presented Bobby Axelrod as a bad guy because he’s a vindictive cheater and not for the real, broader reason, which is that the ruthless capitalism he engages in profits off the suffering of people he has the luxury of not thinking about.

That changes in Season 3, which premieres on Sunday, March 25. It’s not the Bernie Sanders Show all of a sudden, but it develops a political conscience it previously lacked. Which is good, because even though he’s a cool, smart guy who loves his kids, you’re not supposed to root for Bobby Axelrod.

Continue reading Billions Season 3 Finally Shows Real-World Consequences for What Its Bad People Do – March 23, 2018

Categories Billions Print Media Review

How Realistic is Billions? – March 22, 2018

For the Love of Trading

by Tom Teodorczuk | Market Watch | March 21, 2018

Source: Showtime

We asked Anthony Scaramucci and other financiers: How realistic is Showtime’s hedge-fund drama ‘Billions’? Is the hit show on the money when it comes to Wall Street?

This story contains some plot details about season 3 of “Billions.”

Things have been busy recently for Anthony Scaramucci. Prior to serving as President Trump’s White House Communications Director for just 11 days, “The Mooch” founded hedge-fund investing firm SkyBridge Capital and a hedge-fund conference known as SALT.

Continue reading How Realistic is Billions? – March 22, 2018